Maggie Wise designed this country style wallhanging, a simple patchwork surrounding a bright rooster with a gentle wash of colour
Choose a variety of scraps and longer strips for the small blocks and rooster
appliqué. Packs of fat eighths are a good way of buying smaller quantities of fabrics; often the shop owner will have colour
co-ordinated them for you too.
- 1 fat quarter of blue and green check for inner border and patchwork
- 30cm of soft green patterned fabric for the outer border (it will need piecing) or 40cm across whole width of the fabric
- 73 x 92cm of 2oz polyester wadding
- 73 x 92cm of backing fabric
- 25cm of Bondaweb
32 x 25in (81 x 64cm)
For help finding the materials used to make this project, visit the website www.sunflowerfabrics.com
This little wall hanging is an ideal quick project. The appliqué may be done by machine, using fusible bonding web, or by traditional hand techniques. If you decide to hand appliqué remember to add seam allowances to the shapes when cutting, you may want to simplify the curves as well.
The Applique Centre Panel
You will need to cut one 10 1/2in square of cream for the appliqué background. You can download a copy of the rooster template here.
- The rooster appliqué shapes provided have already been reversed for easy tracing. Trace the appliqué shapes onto the smooth side of some Bondaweb and cut out 1/4in outside the drawn line. Select your Rooster fabrics and press the Bondaweb shapes onto the reverse of the fabrics.
- Cut out the shapes with a very sharp pair of scissors on the drawn line. Remove the backing papers from the shapes by scaring the centre of each shape with a scissor point, this ensures a clean, undamaged edge.
- Take the centre square of fabric and layer the shapes as indicated by Figure 1, referring to the photograph for general placement.
Note: Take special care with the tip of the roosters tail as it is layered above the tail plume feather whereas the rest of his body is behind!
Figure 1: Applique Layout
Maggie stitched her rooster using a zig-zag stitch and toning machine embroidery threads. When using the machine for appliqué, she always recommends that the following guidelines are observed:
- Use machine embroidery thread such as Madeira as it lays smoother on the
surface of the fabric than ordinary sewing cotton, and the stitches have a fine lustrous sheen on them.
- To achieve a perfect, even stitch it always helps if you have a brand new needle for each project.
- Be prepared to slow down your stitching a little; the needle has further to travel when making each stitch, so avoid stress on the thread by slowing things down. Maggie also recommends slackening off the top tension a little.
- In the spool, Maggie likes to use the specialist bobbinfil thread. It has the same diameter as the embroidery thread, which makes it less likely to appear on the surface and spoil your stitching. Sometimes it may be
necessary to tighten the thumb screw on your bobbin case to suit this narrower diameter thread.
- When you applique, its generally easier to go round the motif in a clockwise manner, and the right hand swing of the needles should fall directly off the edge of your motif and into the background fabric. This has the effect of finishing off the edge and preventing it from fraying, as well as having a pretty and decorative look. A machine which has the needle down function is highly desirable for machine appliqué; it means that every time you stop sewing to adjust the position of your fabric making it much easier. But you can get by without it.
- When all your shapes have been stitched pull the threads through to the back of your work and secure.
Figure 2: Cutting Diagram
Assembling the Quilt Top
You will need to cut:
- Two strips of blue 10 1/2in x 1 3/4in (B)
- One strip 13 x 4in in green blue stripe (C)
- One strip 21 1/2in by 3 1/2in in blue green checks (D)
- Two strips 13 x 3in in blue green checks (F)
- Two strips 3 x 3 1/2in in green blue stripes (F)
- Seventeen 3in squares from four different colours (G)
- One strip 21 1/2in x 3 (H) in blue green checks
- Two strips 26 1/2 x 4in of soft green (J)
- Two strips 25 1/2 x 4in of soft green (K)
See also the cutting diagram in Figure 2 for clarity.
The quilt is pieced as shown in Figure 3, starting with the pieces above
and below the centre panel. Then piece the checkerboard section to the right of the rooster before adding it to the main quilt centre. Press each section well before you add it to the main blocks.
Carry on adding pieces in the order indicated. Some sections must be sub-pieced before adding to the main quilt centre. All other sections are added working outwards from the appliqué to complete the quilt top.
Figure 3: The order for the quilt assembly
Quilting and Finishing
Maggie cross-hatched the centre by hand with 1in spacing then quilted diagonally across the other inner sections. She then chose a wandering feather design to overlap the inner and outer borders.
For a simpler quilting option, echo quilt around the rooster and work simple crosses across the small blocks and in the border.
Maggie has chosen a turned edge to her hanging. This type of edge was traditionally used on wholecloth quilts. It is not a strong edge but is very useful on a hanging where the edge will not get much wear.
Figure 3: The order for the quilt assembly
- Cut a piece of backing 4in larger all round than your finished size and cut a piece of wadding to the exact finished measurement. Ensure the
wadding corners are square as this will be the finished edge of your quilt.
- Fold and tack the edges of the backing over the wadding. Make sure you fold the corners neatly and keep them square.
- Stitch in the seam allowance on your pieced top, this is to strengthen the edges (like staystitching). Centre the pieced top onto your wadding with the backing underneath. Pin in place then carefully turn the edge under to exactly meet the covered edge.
- Sew with a running or quilting stitch about 1/8in from the edge of the quilt, two rows can be stitched for extra strength.
- Attach a hanging sleeve and label.
First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 11 Number 6 - June 2003